Ocean floor video to track trawlers’ footprint

first_imgWatch the video: Benthic Trawl Experiment 2014 “The footage is very clear; it’s the best and most systematic video we have of life in the trawl lanes,” says Attwood. Hake live in deep water during the day, mostly at depths of 350 to 600 metres, and because of their inaccessibility they aren’t often observed in their wild habitat. But they migrate vertically, coming up to feed at night. Most trawling is therefore done during the day when the fish are near the seabed. “Mass food production has an environmental impact, and it’s great that we have the fishing industry’s co-operation on this experiment,” says Attwood. “They understand that we need to limit harvest to replenishable numbers, and that it’s important to work with the ecosystem.” Source: University of Cape Town 30 June 2014 A pioneering experiment being conducted in the Atlantic Ocean 100 nautical miles off the west coast of South Africa will tell marine researchers from the University of Cape Town (UCT) how long the seabed and its ecosystem takes to recover after hake trawling operations. The Benthic Trawl Experiment is a joint research project between UCT, the South African Deep Sea Trawl Industry Association, the South African Environmental Observation Network (Saeon), and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. It’s the first in a series of experimental surveys of the impact of bottom trawling on the benthic communities – organisms that live in or on the seafloor – of the outer shelf of South Africa’s west coast, says Associate Professor Colin Attwood, the chief scientist on the project. These will be conducted annually, though Attwood says it will take longer than the allotted four years for previously trawled lanes to bounce back.Recovery among sea-floor species Saeon’s Lara Atkinson, who is managing the project, says: “We have been planning for a long time to get this experiment under way, and we’re very excited about this opportunity to be able to monitor for any changes in the benthic communities in the areas where trawling has stopped.” The researchers have established a 6-by-15 nautical mile block within one of the fisheries’ commercial blocks, and divided this into five lanes, two of which will remain open to trawling. The remaining three will be closed over the project’s lifespan. Data recovered during repeated surveys over this time will give researchers a clearer idea of recovery among seafloor species – and of the ocean floor itself, which becomes churned up by metal trawl “doors” (some weighing up to 10 tons) angled to hold open the net mouth as it is pulled along. A towed camera and a Van Veen grab (instrumentation used to collect sediment) will be used to sample benthic epi-fauna and in-fauna respectively.Marine life not previously seen on the seabed Two-and-a-half hours of video footage of the seabed, shot during the first of the experimental surveys on board the research vessel Ellen Khuzwayo in February, show marine life previously not seen on the seabed: jacopever, spiny eels, starfish, anemones and other crustaceans – and hake.last_img read more

HC issues notice to Parrikar’s son over eco-resort near sanctuary

first_imgThe Bombay High Court at Goa on Tuesday issued notices to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s younger son, Abhijat, over the alleged destruction of forested area to construct an eco-resort near the Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary in south Goa. A Division Bench of Justices Mahesh Sonak and Prithviraj Chavan directed Mr. Abhijat Parrikar, promoter of Hideaway Hospitality, and the State Chief Secretary, Secretary of Environment and Forests and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, to respond to the notice by March 11. On February 4, Abhijit Dessai, deputy sarpanch at Netravali, filed a petition seeking stay on the construction of the eco-resort promoted by Mr. Abhijat Parrikar, alleging that the project had destroyed forested areas and by-passed several laws. An ordinance had been specially moved to ensure fast-tracked facilitation of the project which is spread over nearly 90,000 sq. metre. Mr. Dessai has also sought the restoration of the land by the promoter.The issue sparked a war of allegations between the Opposition Congress and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) recently. All India Congress Committee Secretary A. Chellakumar, Goa State Congress president Girish Chodankar, former Chief Ministers Digambar Kamat and Pratapsingh Rane, and leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar addressed a press conference on February 6. They said that the area, which is part of the 83,625 sq metres-plot owned by Mr. Abhijat Parrikar, was deforested in the guise of an eco-tourism project. The Congress legal cell chief and former Goa Advocate General Carlos Ferreira had alleged that the project which was initiated in 2013, and fast-tracked by multiple government agencies like the Investment Promotion Board, State Town and Country Planning and Forest departments. “There have been three governments headed by the BJP from 2012-2014 by Mr. Manohar Parrikar, 2014-2017 by Laxmikant Parsekar and the present one headed by Mr. [Manohar] Parrikar again. All three have been party to nepotism and facilitation of illegalities,” he said. BJP Goa president Vinay Tendulkar, in response to a query from The Hindu, had rubbished the allegations made by the Congress leaders. “There are no illegalities in the project. Mr. Manohar Parrikar’s son will not do anything against the law. He has purchased the land. We have full faith in them,” he said at a press conference last weekend.last_img read more

Doctor honoured for her work with CLP patients

first_imgA doctor from north Bengal, Neela (Cathrine) Bhattacharya, has been awarded for her work with children born with cleft lips or palates. Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit recently presented the award instituted by a Chennai-based organisation. Dr. Bhattacharya has treated around 4,000 children. She is also the recipient of the 100 Women Achievers in India award, given by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development. Dr. Bhattacharya was the first to set up a plastic surgery department in Siliguri. She said she was elated with the award, “particularly as it came from [her] home State Tamil Nadu”.last_img read more

a month agoChelsea hat-trick hero Abraham: We can do better

first_imgChelsea hat-trick hero Abraham: We can do betterby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea striker Tammy Abraham says there’s more to come from him after his hat-trick at Wolves.He admitted afterwards that there was still plenty for the team to work on, although winning while learning and adapting was the most important thing.”It’s been an amazing day,” reflected Abraham to chelseafc.com. “Coming to a place like Wolves is never easy so the manner of the victory is something we can be very pleased with. We played well, scored goals and got three points to take home with us so it’s been a great day.”Obviously we did concede two goals and that is something we’re disappointed about because a clean sheet would have been fantastic but we will take the positives out of this performance and take it into the next game.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Hyundai Aurora to release autonomous cars by 2021

first_imgSEOUL, South Korea – Hyundai Motor Co. said Thursday it will begin selling its first self-driving vehicles by 2021 in partnership with U.S. based self-driving technology startup Aurora Innovation Inc.Within in three years, Hyundai and Aurora will bring autonomous vehicles to markets that can operate without human input in most conditions, the company said in a statement.The auto industry designates that as “level 4 autonomous driving,” just one stage short of fully autonomous driving.The partnership has yet to say how its first batch of self-driving vehicles will be used, but analysts expect they likely be for commercial use, such as self-driving taxis or ride-hailing services, rather than for sales to individual consumers. General Motors said in November that its self-driving vehicles will carry passengers and deliver goods in big cities by 2019.Aurora was founded by a former chief technology officer at Google’s self-driving car unit, a former Tesla Autopilot director and a former self-driving engineer at Uber.Hyundai has been pursuing partnerships to keep pace with changes in an industry that is being transformed by artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and other cutting edge-technologies.It earlier joined with Cisco Systems Inc. and Baidu Inc. to collaborate on internet-connected cars. It has also set up a $45 million fund with South Korea’s SK Telecom and Hanwha Asset Management to invest in artificial intelligence startups worldwide.The South Korean automaker plans to share more details of its project with Aurora during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, where it will also unveil the brand name of a new fuel-cell SUV that will be tested for self-driving technology.The company plans to show off some of its autonomous driving cars during the Winter Olympics Game next month in Pyeongchang, South Korea.last_img read more